The big brass bell on the door of the Barking Box is ringing once again. Just three short months after a devastating fire at their former location, the cat and dog-grooming business has reopened at 1631 Mt. Vernon Road.

Over the weekend of February 16, a malfunction in the business's hot water tank caused the fire to start. Luckily, the building was empty and no one, person or animal, was harmed.

"It was a leased one. I guess they replaced the thermostat, and they didn't do it right. It overheated in the night, then blew. Their insurance company had to meet with our insurance company and it was just a big mess," said owner Gary Smith in an interview.

Smith has owned Barking Box since 1980 with his wife, Tina. They've developed a long-standing rapport with Newark's pet-owners by placing a special emphasis on pets' health and comfort. .................